Roberts on target as Under-21s held by Nuneaton Town
Oxford United’s development squad drew 1-1 with Nuneaton Town at the United training ground this afternoon. James Roberts opened the scoring for the U’s just before half-time but the visitors equalised on the hour to deny Oxford the win.
The first half was a cagey affair with both teams creating half chances. The best chance fell to Nuneaton on 32 minutes when they broke forward quickly and a right-wing cross was thumped against the bar by the visiting striker. Oxford went straight up the other end and AJ George slipped the ball wide to Jonny Giles, who forced a diving save from the Nuneaton keeper.
United opened the scoring in the 42nd minute from the best move of the half. Sam Humphreys played the ball down the line for the non-stop Aidan Hawtin. He beat a defender to the byline and his low cross was expertly turned in at the near post by Roberts. Nuneaton had barely threatened Jack Stevens in the United net, but their equaliser on the hour mark came from an almost identical move to the Oxford goal, although their goalscorer was more central than Roberts.
Roberts was looking for the winner at every opportunity but his shots were either blocked or failed to hit the target. Substitute Miles Welch-Hayes also went close with a drive that fizzed just wide in the final minute.
However, the U’s were indebted to Welch-Hayes in stoppage time. From a Nuneaton free-kick, Stevens pulled off a fine save, pushing the ball over from a long-range shot and from the resulting corner Welch-Hayes had to be alert to clear the ball off the United goalline, with Stevens then making a point-blank save from the follow-up effort.
United: Stevens, Hawtin (Welch-Hayes), Dunkley, Cundy, Triallist (Hayden), Humphreys, Ashby, George, Rose (Triallist), Roberts, Giles